Alek holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Oregon State University, and a B.F.A. in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. With ten years of experience in postsecondary education and the nonprofit sector, she is thrilled to be part of an adroit team that continually contributes to the development of healthier communities throughout the world. In her spare time, Alek enjoys running, camping, photography, playing board and video games, and snuggling her cats.
Ask Alek about: general program information, upcoming events on campus, facilities and building maintenance, quarterly newsletter, and social media matters.
Claire became interested in midwifery while working on a B.A. in Anthropology at Willamette University. While an undergraduate, she conducted extensive fieldwork within the homebirth midwifery community. After spending a couple years as an account manager at a software company, she jumped at the chance to join Birthingway’s team as Assistant to the President. At Birthingway, Claire endeavors to free up Holly’s task list so she can spend more time supporting staff and students. This includes supporting the board, assisting with budget prep and maintenance, and keeping Holly’s plants alive. In February 2018, Claire also took on the job duties of the Registrar position. When not at Birthingway, Claire attends about one to two births a month as a doula and tries to spend as much of her free time as possible exploring Portland, hiking, and singing when the opportunity arises (in the shower, in community choirs, and at the occasional karaoke night).
Ask Claire about: anything related to Birthingway’s Board, budget, human resources, the Workgroup on Equity and Inclusion (WEI), strategic planning, our accreditation, degree approval, our educational statistics (including retention), institutional policies registration, ordering a transcript and withdrawing from a class or a program.
Elizabeth completed her B.A. in Social Science from Portland State University in Spring 2014 and has a corporate finance background. Elizabeth’s goal upon returning to the workforce was to in some way help mothers and children. Here at Birthingway, she gets to be a part of a team that produces world class Midwives, Lactation Consultants and Labor and Postpartum Doulas. It’s a dream come true. When not at Birthingway, you can find Elizabeth running around after/with her children, doing something geeky with her husband, walking the dog, or being smothered by the cat. But, alas she does not have chickens.
Ask Elizabeth about: your student account, making payments, tandem nursing, Star Wars, or her amazing movie themed wedding.
Heather Hack-Sullivan is Birthingway’s Midwifery Program Coordinator and Specialized Program Coordinator. Heather has come full circle in the Birthingway community. She began teaching Infancy classes twenty years ago only to then become a student, a graduate, a midwife, and now the Birthingway Midwifery Program Coordinator. She also teaches Postpartum Skills, Prenatal Skills and Infancy, and is a clinical training preceptor for midwifery students. In addition to receiving her BSM, Heather is a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) and LDM (Licensed Direct-Entry Midwife). She lives with her husband and has four amazing children as well as cats, chickens and honeybees. She enjoys knitting, playing board games, singing karaoke, eating sushi, listening to music, and going to concerts.
Ask Heather about: anything to do with the Birthingway Midwifery Program or the specialized Doula programs.
Holly has practiced midwifery for 40 years, as well as an anthropologist specializing in human reproduction and medical anthropology. She is the founder and president of Birthingway College of Midwifery, and can be called on from time-to-time to offer inspirational speeches.
Ask Holly about: anything, especially about Birthingway history and culture, budget-related issues, employee compliments or concerns.
Natalie is Birthingway’s fabulous Faculty Coordinator. Before moving to Portland, she lived in New York where she worked with environmental non-profits and then spent two years in Morocco serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Between gardening at home or at the Mount Tabor Community Garden, she always seems to find an excuse to play in the dirt. Natalie believes that Birthingway has made an effort to create an organization that embodies its core values in everything it does. In her opinion, if you believe that the best way to change the world is to start with yourself, then Birthingway is a great place to spend your time!
Ask Natalie about: copyright clearance, classroom faculty, lactation or midwifery clinical training faculty, course and faculty evaluation and joining our faculty.
Nichole has worked in various roles at Birthingway for 16 years and is a graduate of our Midwifery Program. Currently her main job is as the Academic Coordinator. She also teaches a number of courses at Birthingway. Nichole is the annoyingly proud mother of two amazing people who have grown up in and around Birthingway. She believes deeply in Birthingway’s mission, and although she is not currently serving as a primary midwife, she is grateful for the daily opportunities to serve as intellectual midwife to student midwives and lactation consultants.
Ask Nichole about: Birthingway history and curriculum.
Raeben has been practicing as a doula in Oregon and Washington since 2001 and has been working at Birthingway as the Specialized Programs Coordinator since 2013. She is also very passionate about placentas and was one of the very first placenta encapsulation service providers in the Portland area. Her work at Birthingway involves mentoring doulas, juggling multiple programs, working with the State of Oregon to promote greater access to doulas and increasing diversity in the doula workforce. In her free time she loves to garden, wildcraft herbal remedies, read, share meals with great friends, listen to loads of really good music and spend time with her wonderful husband and two really interesting, funny kids.
Ask Raeben about: becoming a Labor Doula or Postpartum Doula, the ongoing process around Oregon doula reimbursement, and also what you should be growing in your garden or putting in your earthquake preparedness kit.
Sarah found her purpose when her first baby was a week old and she stumbled into a local breastfeeding support group. She discovered her own path to motherhood in the collective wisdom and comfort of the women she met there. Several years later and with both her children in school, Sarah was ready to return to work, but found her passion for marketing had been replaced with a drive to support parents and their babies. Sarah graduated from Birthingway’s Lactation program and became an IBCLC in 2014. Since then, Sarah has provided excellent, Biodynamic lactation support to families in our community in her private practice, Miracle of Nurture. Sarah’s education and experience prior to her lactation career includes a background in business administration and marketing communications in the tech industry. In her non-work life, Sarah enjoys reading, quilting, playing board games, and hikes and camping with her family.
Stacey is seasoned in the world of financial aid, having 16 years previous experience and having been Director of Financial Aid for 13 of those years. She and her husband owned an antique store on Hawthorne Blvd for 11 years called Shadowhouse Collectibles, the coolest store in Portland at the time! She has also sold thousands of items on eBay over the past 15 years. When she is not working at one of her many jobs she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends.
Ask Stacey about: financial aid, course packs, lab supplies, and textbooks.
Some staff are shy!
Ask Corey about: classroom technology needs, your computer, Google Apps, technological issues, or how technology can best be used at Birthingway.
Ask Nora about: the library.
Ask Nina about: Business Coordination.